I completely agree with Rudy Espinoza Murray’s guest perspective on Senate Bill 9; I have found most arguments in opposition to the legislation to be unsupported fearmongering without real, achievable alternative solutions that meet the housing need here and across the state. If we are to meet the Regional Housing Needs Allocation numbers mandated by the state for the benefit of all California residents, not just property owners, we need to get creative. Is SB 9 enough? No. But it’s a good start.
Upzoning is one way to help with the housing crisis; not everyone wants to live in a big apartment complex, which is the only kind of new housing that I’ve really seen built in San Mateo given local restraints on height and density. The high cost of housing affects so many aspects of life in our wonderful city, including our ability to hire (and keep!) public school teachers and other essential workers, including health care workers (I heard just yesterday that the county has lost a net of 120 mental health clinicians over the last year).
Building more housing also encourages landlords to keep their units in good repair to remain competitive, rather than letting them deteriorate because they know their tenants don’t have other good options.
I want San Mateo (and California generally) to be a place where people of all income levels can thrive, and that’s why I’m supporting SB 9.